BOWLS: Grantham teacher Ashley returns home Caress-ing Euro golds

Ashley Caress (far right) celebrates with his England team-mates, Alex Walton (Cambridgeshire) Rebecca Field (Norfolk) and Amy Stanton (Worcestershire).
Ashley Caress (far right) celebrates with his England team-mates, Alex Walton (Cambridgeshire) Rebecca Field (Norfolk) and Amy Stanton (Worcestershire).
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Grantham teacher Ashley Caress returned from the Lawn Bowls European Championships in Israel with two gold medals and a bronze.

Ashley, who works as a teacher at Grantham Additional Needs Fellowship and plays bowls for Ayscoughfee BC in Spalding, was selected to represent England in the bi-annual event.

Over the course of eight days, England played pairs, mixed fours and competed against countries from across the continent for the overall team championship.

Although Ashley had previously played on the international stage, this was very much a new experience and one that he said he had to adapt to.

Ashley said: “We had a training day on the first day and played at both venues, the temperature was above 40 degrees.”

The young player adapted excellently though and although England were not favoured before the tournament, they proved everyone wrong and went on to win bronze in the men’s pairs, gold in the ladies pairs, gold in the mixed fours and gold overall.

Ashley said: “To go to Israel and retain the European Championship was an unbelievable feeling.”

Upon returning to work at GANF following the tournament, Ashley discussed his experience with his pupils, stating that the confidence, team-spirit and determination in the England camp was the main reason for their success.

Ashley said: “We were probably not the best team and certainly not the most experienced team, however our togetherness and willingness to win ultimately paid off.

“We didn’t know each other very well but bonded and that could be seen through the way we worked together during matches, team-work is vital to success.”.